Friday, August 27th, 2010...9:02 am
Time to get your Rattlesnake Vaccine
I have hunted out west for 20 plus years. My encounters with rattlesnakes have been few and far between.
Some of that has been luck and some of that has been from avoiding places that snakes prefer to hang out. I also don’t run my dogs when it gets really really hot. If the temperature goes over 70 degrees, I head for the truck.
Early season is the time when I have the biggest chance of running into snakes.
This vaccine is designed to protect dogs from the bite of the Western Diamondback. Because of similarities in venom, it offers some protection against other snakes including the Prairie, Great Basin, Northern and Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes, Sidewinder, Timber Rattlesnake, Massasauga and the Copperhead. The Red Rock vaccine provides some protection against the Eastern Diamondback.
I have yet to have a chance to test this vaccine in the field and I hope I never do. I have seen dogs that had been vaccinated and how they responded after getting bit. It’s pretty amazing how well they did compared to unvaccinated dogs.
Snake bites are very serious and I highly recommend that you get your dog to the vet ASAP after a bite. The biggest advantage that I see in the vaccine is that it gives me time. It isn’t uncommon for me to be 60 to 100 miles from the closest vet when I am out hunting. Getting a dog to the truck and to a vet in time can be a big issue.
The first time a dog is vaccinated, it requires an initial vaccine and then a booster one month later. After that one you can do it once a year. I time mine based on when we will be hunting. The vaccine works best for the first six months or so.
Dogs that have more exposure throughout the year may require additional boosters.
Like any other vaccination, I recommend that you consult your vet. You can get more info on Red Rock Biologics on their Rattlesnake FAQ.